World renowned, critically acclaimed author and writer of Indian origin, Salman Rushdie has proved just how charitable he is. The infamous novelist, who wrote the Booker Prize- winning ‘Midnight’s Children’ and ‘The Ground Beneath Her Feet’, has sold the film rights of the former novel to Deepa Mehta for just one dollar!
We caught up with acclaimed Indo-Canadian filmmaker of Indian origin, Deepa Mehta, who let us in on the little secret. Deepa revealed that she bought the rights of Britain based author Salman Rushdie’s Booker Prize-winning novel ‘Midnight’s Children’ for just one dollar.
Said Deepa, of her friend and collaborator Rushdie, “Salman and I often talked about working together. One night, over dinner, I asked him who had the rights to Midnight’s Children. He said he did. I asked to buy them and he sold the option to me for one dollar. It was not premeditated; it was just gut instinct.”
Rushdie had revealed earlier in his memoir, titled ‘Joseph Anton’ that he was initially supposed to make a TV series based on the book on BBC channel. Rushdie however, was not keen initially to adapt his novel for the screen by himself. But Deepa Mehta convinced him to write the screenplay. The duo reportedly has collaborated on writing the screenplay for the film adaptation of the book on Rushdie’s famous character ‘Saleem Sinai’ and his midnight counterparts.
The movie has a few more interesting surprises, including a voiceover by the author himself.
Says Rushdie candidly about the dissimilarities between the book and the film, “The book is much darker. I said to Deepa, ‘You do realise we have almost made a feel-good ending here.’ But I remember when ‘Midnight’s Children’ [the novel] came out. Obviously lots of people did like it, but one of the things people criticized it for was the pessimism of the ending. I would say actually what’s happened in India since then has been much worse than anything that could have been forecast. The ending actually looks ludicrously optimistic.”
‘Midnight’s Children’ had run into a bit of trouble recently, with reports suggesting that the film would not release in Rushdie’s home country, India. However, Salman Rushdie has clarified time and again that it will see a simultaneous Indian release.
Featuring an eclectic ensemble cast of Indian actors, including Satya Bhabha, Shriya Saran, Sidharth, Anupam Kher, Shabana Azmi, Seema Biswas, Shahana Goswami, Rahul Bose, Soha Ali Khan, and Darsheel Safary, ‘Midnight’s Children’ will hit the screens on February 1.